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Telling our son tomorrow....AH is already baiting me

Old 01-03-2015, 06:15 PM
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Telling our son tomorrow....AH is already baiting me

So, AH had been putting pressure on me to tell our son ASAP about the divorce. I wanted to have time to meet with the lawyer, get the realtor over here to help me price it and give me feedback on what needs to be fixed, etc. I wanted things more planned out before we told our son.

I have been pushing AH to tell me what he wants to see happen: Does he want us to sell the house and split it all? Does he want to keep the house and buy me out? Does he want to have me keep the house and the equity and he gets to keep his 401K? I sent him this 6 days ago and never heard back from him. I, again, pressed him today to tell me what he'd like to see happen. All he says is that he wants our son to know. He will NOT give me an answer or any indication of what he wants to see happen. I, at one point, told him that I wanted to move out soon before we sell the house and he balked at it and told me that it makes no sense to have 2 homes with 2 sets of living expenses.

His most recent email to me stated, "Our son deserves to be treated like an adult." UGH....here we go with baiting me to argue. He keeps saying that he's following my lead but I wonder what tactic he's really hiding behind.

He did say that once we get things on the table with our son that we would be allowed to talk about stuff freely instead of via email. He seems to think that the reason we aren't speaking to each other is because our son doesn't know and that it's not out in the open??? Seriously? Yeah, it has nothing to do with the fact that he's not a safe person to talk to, that he patronizes me at every turn (one of the emails said: Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how this would be the best option?), that he uses sarcasm and disdain and criticism to get his point across.....or, how about the fact that it's not appropriate to talk to our son about this stuff.

I'm about ready to blow. It's so hard to NOT take the bait and just go at him with everything I've got.

So, I sent him an email back today and told him that I will still not engage in conversation with him about the divorce or the finances in front of our son. I told him that our son is still a child and that we do not need to speak to him as an adult and that even adult children don't want to be privy to their parent's problems. I then told him that email works best for me.

I'm not sure what he's up to. I'm definitely not sure what I'm in for.....but, I am so very ready to move on and be done. I no longer have one foot out the door and one foot in, I have both feet out and I'm making plans to find a job, pay off credit cards, paring down the stuff in the house by listing things on swip swap, craigslist, etc.

I had to go into the master bedroom closet because I still have some stuff in there (I moved into the guest bedroom last year) and I saw his new monster bottle of whatever it was. That means he still actively drinking and isn't trying to hide it anymore. Fine by me, but it's just the information I need to solidify my resolve.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:20 PM
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Oh Liz, stay strong Girlfriend. You can do this. It's possible that he's expecting your son's reaction to throw some monkey wrenches into the process - an emotional distraction/complication that he can possibly leverage somehow. Or he's just flying blindly, lashing in whatever direction suits him, as usual. ((((HUGS))))
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:40 PM
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I think FireSprite is right on. He's probably counting on some huge emotional reaction from your son, that he thinks will weaken your resolve. What a jerk.

I think YOU are right on to keep your son out of any negotiations or discussions with him about the house, finances, etc. All your son needs to know is that he will be OK and that you both love him (well, Dad as much as he's able to).

Hang in there, you're doing great.

Hugs,
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:45 PM
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He likely wants Drama.

Part of what they do.

AAAAA. (Always All About the Alcoholic or Addict)

Mrs. Hammer pulled the same type crap on our kids.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:35 PM
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Sounds like an attempt at triangulation to me. He's probably hoping that your son is completely clueless (I'm sure your son knows that your both living in separate bedrooms for the last year is no bueno) and they will both be able to blame you for "splitting up the family."

Stay strong in your resolve, Liz! I think you're making great strides in putting yourself and your son in a better position.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:50 AM
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I'm in agreement with the others. He's expecting your son to be distraught and lash out at you for "breaking up the family" (though I'm almost certain your son knows exactly who daddy dearest really is). If I had been older than 4 when my parents split, I would have helped my AM pack and shoved her out the door. I do see a rager coming when your AH doesn't get what he wants, though. Be prepared for a real shitshow in front of your son. If it doesn't happen, then just be grateful for the miracle. (((Hugs)))
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:47 AM
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If he's so keen for your son to be told, why isn't he doing it himself? Sounds like the kind of game-playing where you get all the responsibility and he retains all the power by passive aggression and being obstructive.

By the way, even if you do talk openly it's probably a good idea to email to confirm what's been said - as it gives you a contemporary, dated and timed record, in writing.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:28 AM
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Liz....this guy has been a Badger every step of the way. don't let him badger you into doing something that you are against just to satisfy some questionable motive of his.
Exercise your backbone when dealing with this guy.
He behaves like a real narcissist In all matters)...and, this is what is said about narcissists:
"If you offer your hand they will take your arm...every time"

Your son is pretty sensitive and observant. What do you want to bet that he already knows?

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Old 01-04-2015, 05:47 AM
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I bet your son already knows too too.

I agree, don't get badgered but I bet given the giant glug of booze already there in his closet it will be out and soon via a king baby blowup.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:50 AM
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For the record Liz, what does you lawyer say is in your best interest?

the house only, splitting all assets, spousal payments?

We need Lexie to weigh in here on what a lawyer might have told hi, but his refusal to say anything
seems like perhaps you are entitled to more then he thought and he's trying
to be sneaky about it. . .

Just thinkin'
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:27 AM
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I'm not an expert in divorce law. And the laws differ significantly from one place to another. Hopefully ANY lawyer would give his/her client a realistic idea of what the court would award if the case went to trial and the court had to decide it. Many people choose to negotiate to give up something they might be entitled to, in exchange for something more important to them. I was fortunate that really, my first husband and I were able to come to an amicable agreement before we ever consulted lawyers. We each kept our own retirement plans, he kept the house (because the boys stayed with him). My retirement plan (and future income) promised to be much higher in the future. It felt fair to me then, and feels fair to me now, and my ex feels the same way. His mortgage is now paid for (on the house he bought later), he eventually had a boost in income and is now comfortably retired. I'm still working, but I'm in good shape in terms of my own retirement.

But an active alcoholic isn't likely to be listening to, or correctly processing, the information given to him by his lawyer. So who knows WTF he might be thinking he's trying to accomplish.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Rosalba View Post
If he's so keen for your son to be told, why isn't he doing it himself? Sounds like the kind of game-playing where you get all the responsibility and he retains all the power by passive aggression and being obstructive.

By the way, even if you do talk openly it's probably a good idea to email to confirm what's been said - as it gives you a contemporary, dated and timed record, in writing.
We are talking to our son together.

I decided that it's OK to tell our son because I need something to give me a kick in the pants to get the ball rolling. I have a meeting with my lawyer on the 22nd but I can probably push that up and pay her the retainer fee early.

I'm not going to let him bully me. He wants us all to live in this house until things are final and the house sells, but that's not happening. As soon as we tell our son, that's the catalyst for me to start looking for a rental home (actually I've earmarked a few places already that I want my realtor to show me).

It's funny because his wording in the emails goes like this, "I just planned on following your lead. All I wanted to do for now is tell him we're splitting up. I'll agree with whatever you want to tell him......"
Then, in another email he said, "I understand your apprehension, however, I don't see how waiting changes anything. We sort of have a chicken egg thing going on where you don't want to say anything to him and we are not speaking to each other because we haven't said anything to him...."

Honestly, I got the impression that he just wants to be able to talk about all of this in front of our son. He wants to approach me at the dinner table and say, "Well, who's keeping this table we're eating on because I don't want it(or whatever..)"

So, my last email yesterday told him that I still WILL NOT talk to him about the divorce or the finances or who gets what, in front of our son. Not negotiating on this one because he's still a child and doesn't need to be subjected to any of our crap. Just because it's out in the open doesn't mean we have to start 'talking' about it in the open. UGH!
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I'm not an expert in divorce law. And the laws differ significantly from one place to another. Hopefully ANY lawyer would give his/her client a realistic idea of what the court would award if the case went to trial and the court had to decide it. Many people choose to negotiate to give up something they might be entitled to, in exchange for something more important to them. I was fortunate that really, my first husband and I were able to come to an amicable agreement before we ever consulted lawyers. We each kept our own retirement plans, he kept the house (because the boys stayed with him). My retirement plan (and future income) promised to be much higher in the future. It felt fair to me then, and feels fair to me now, and my ex feels the same way. His mortgage is now paid for (on the house he bought later), he eventually had a boost in income and is now comfortably retired. I'm still working, but I'm in good shape in terms of my own retirement.

But an active alcoholic isn't likely to be listening to, or correctly processing, the information given to him by his lawyer. So who knows WTF he might be thinking he's trying to accomplish.
He doesn't have a lawyer and doesn't want to pay for mine(he constantly argues about it and why we should be able to work together). I had socked away some money which I gave to my mom over the years so I'm having her pay the fee for the lawyer for now.

I already know my options. I know that he could keep his 401K and let me keep the house because they are equitable. I've gone over the numbers, I've worked them left right and upside down. I know how much I need monthly, I know what I can live without and where I can and can't cut, I have a plan, I have people in place to help me with my son's expenses including people who have offered to help with his tuition at the school where he gets tutoring, etc. I have networked, gone out to dinner with old friends who have contacts at companies where I could get a decent starting job in finance or banking. I have friends lined up to help take my son to tournaments.

I've hit my knees every morning and I keep praying for things to work out as best they can in God's will for our lives.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post
He doesn't have a lawyer and doesn't want to pay for mine(he constantly argues about it and why we should be able to work together). I had socked away some money which I gave to my mom over the years so I'm having her pay the fee for the lawyer for now.

I already know my options. I know that he could keep his 401K and let me keep the house because they are equitable. I've gone over the numbers, I've worked them left right and upside down. I know how much I need monthly, I know what I can live without and where I can and can't cut, I have a plan, I have people in place to help me with my son's expenses including people who have offered to help with his tuition at the school where he gets tutoring, etc. I have networked, gone out to dinner with old friends who have contacts at companies where I could get a decent starting job in finance or banking. I have friends lined up to help take my son to tournaments.

I've hit my knees every morning and I keep praying for things to work out as best they can in God's will for our lives.
what about a mediator instead of 2 lawyers? will he be unreasonable? if so, maybe not a good option.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:14 AM
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It sounds like you've got your Is dotted and Ts crossed -- the one thing that concerns me is like Stung said, that he wants your son informed so he can triangulate.

I hope you can keep the boundary strict and just say "we are not discussing this in front of DS" and walk away when he brings things up. I didn't have to deal with any of that since we had lawyers handling everything -- but AXH still threw me under the bus after the divorce, telling the kids their mom was a wh*re, that I cheated on him during the marriage, that I was a liar and they shouldn't trust me, etc., etc., etc. I would be prepared for garbage like that to come out.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MissFixit View Post
what about a mediator instead of 2 lawyers? will he be unreasonable? if so, maybe not a good option.
I thought about that, but I don't think it's a good idea. He's not always the most rational person, despite what he seems to think of himself.

I mentioned to him that I had spoken to a few newly divorced friends and that they had better plans in place before they told the kids. His response? "If you don't think there is anything wrong with our situation in the eyes of a teenage boy you may want to check with older children of divorce instead of the recently divorced."

Now, granted he's right but what he doesn't know is that I have talked to a lot of my son's friends who are older and whose parents divorced in their teens. Namely one of his tennis coaches who is 24 and whose parents split up when he was 16. My point was about the fact that we should have a better plan, not to argue about whether there is fallout on the kids as if I don't know that already.

Can't wait to call my realtor tomorrow. I wish I had a crystal ball, though, so I could know how our son will take this news. Sigh....
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:52 AM
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Chances are he's been well aware of the possibility for a while, and probably, to some extent, come to terms with it. He might have any kind of reaction in the moment, just as it sinks in that this is REALLY happening, but I wouldn't gauge the long-term effect based on that.

I have a feeling that, with time, he will admire you for what you are doing.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:02 AM
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Reminds me of the joke:

Father: "Son, we need to talk about sex".

Son: "O.K.Dad. What do you want to know?"


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Old 01-04-2015, 12:28 PM
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Liz, forgive my naivete, but what is wrong about telling your son (with your husband) now?

He is now in high school, yes?, and probably knows anyway. It might make the situation better for him to know where he stands.

Are there issues about where your son is going to live or go to school that make this more problematic if he knows (formally) about the divorce?

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Old 01-04-2015, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ShootingStar1 View Post
Liz, forgive my naivete, but what is wrong about telling your son (with your husband) now?

He is now in high school, yes?, and probably knows anyway. It might make the situation better for him to know where he stands.

Are there issues about where your son is going to live or go to school that make this more problematic if he knows (formally) about the divorce?

ShootingStar1
Honestly, I just wanted a more formal plan. Instead of, "hey we're getting divorced and we don't know anything more than that." I thought it might lessen some of his anxiety. Since our son is homeschooled, we don't worry about schools, per se. I just need to stay relatively close to his tutoring center.

The funny thing is, my son has been begging me to move him another school district because the high schools on the east side of town have better tennis teams and he wants to play high school tennis this spring. Our school district has nothing to offer him so he didn't play last year for high school, he just played national tournament stuff and US tennis individual competitions.

So, I already know where we could look for rentals because it would only be 20 minutes from here but us on the edge of a specific school district giving him the chance to play for a better team.
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